Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The View from the End of the Road

Sociologist Anthony Compolo tells of a study in which 50 people, over the age of 95 were asked one question . . .

"If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?"

Three themes quickly emerged:
1) Reflect more
2) Risk more
3) Do more things that would live on after I die

Let's take a quick look at each of these areas:

Reflect more:
A good place to start is Stephen Covey's "7 habits of highly effective people".
In Chapter 2, Covey encourages people to think of what they would want other people to say at their own funeral. The exercise is meant to formulate your goals with the end result in mind.
I am going to warn you up front that this exercise may be difficult and emotionally challenging. I will also promise you that it will get you back on track with purpose and direction!

Risk more:
Les Brown tells us to "Leap and grow your wings on the way down"
Towards the end of George Bernhard Shaw's life, he was asked if he could be born again, and come back as anyone throughout history, who would he choose. Without blinking an eye, he responded "I would like to be born as the man I never was"

Perhaps today is the day we celebrate the birth of the person we never were? Is there one action we could take, right here, right now to welcome that new born into our lives?

Do more things that would live on after I die:
There are a lot of ways to attack this one. This could be anything from building your personal wealth so it can be left to your family or favorite charity to something as simple as encouragement.

Can encouragement live on after we die?
There is a story about two famous authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S Lewis and how the two authors would encourage each other. There are many who believe that had they not encouraged each other the world may not have The Lord of The Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

The bottom line: Think about what you want to achieve and DO IT!

(text excerpt from Paul Castain's Sales Playbook blog)

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